Music: Thoughtful Mezzo

In Philadelphia last week, Mezzo-Soprano Blanche Thebom declaimed the bitter story of Medea to the subdued accompaniment of the Philadelphia Orchestra. It was the world premiere of a 20-minute musical monologue by Atonalist Ernst Krenek, based on Poet Robinson Jeffers' version of the old Greek masterpiece—and one more sample of the broad and busy range of roles that falls to the Metropolitan's Soprano Thebom (pronounced Thee-bom) these days.

In the matter-of-fact tone of a chronicler, she sped through the early lines, told how she, Medea, had lavished her love on her husband Jason, only to have him leave her for another woman....

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